Many thoughts have run through my head–which have not been nice. But honestly! 4.00 am in the morning is not the time for people in a nearby room, when staying in a hotel, to be having in depth conversations. Yes, they woke me up and the conversation lasted 2 hours…@*#!
Good new! Read all my latest post feeds, answered a few emails, twittered and it is still early so apologies but this post has been on my mind for days so it is an opportune time to write it! Michele Martin has asked the question on how can we “Facilitate Conversations BETWEEN Commenters on Our Blogs?” which was inspired by Skelliewag. On most blog the author posts and then commenters respond to the author but what we really want is the author and commenters all interacting with one another.
Now Skelliewag (diagram on the left) suggests that true conversations, which is what we want to achieve, is when we all, author and commenters interact. I would have loved to expand this diagram, but am on my Mac, and can not work out an application to use (HELP!!!). It really needs extra diagram below that shows not only interaction between commenters and author on a post but between posts on commenters blogs and the authors blog! Remember that blogging is all about having conversations not talking to yourself!
For example — Michele originally posted the topic as a discussion thread in Better Blog community then converted it into a post on her blog…we all then interacted and posted our thoughts on her blog and in the forum..then readers like Atul Sabnis and myself responded in more depth on our blogs. Now this is true conversation in action and ideally this is the type of interaction we want to encourage, where applicable.
Now if you are interested in looking at ways to increase interaction conversations on your blog I strongly recommend you check out all the links I have provided above. Here are my additional tips:
- Obviously you need to write posts that make people want to continue talking about the topic –not easy and unrealistic to expect with every post. However if you write a good post, that makes people think, or that challenges their views it will happen.
- Show interest in actually having conversations by making time to comment on other people’s blogs.
- Need to be very effective at managing your comments on other people’s blogs. I use co-mment, which tracks my comments, and it notifies me automatically by sending the comment to my Google Reader account. This way when a person comments on a post that I have commented on I can choose to immediately respond back if I want. Co-mment means I can effectively manage my conversations, and they can be near instantaneous. Read this post on how to use co-mment like I do!
- Respond to comments on your own blog! This is incredibly important — if people take the time to comment on your posts you need to be acknowledging them by: commenting back on their comments; visiting their blogs and commenting on their posts; when possible, sending them an email to thank them (time for me can be an issue so I try but it is not always practical); and if appropriate turn the comments into a post. Now I have to currently subtract marks from myself for commenting back on my own posts apologies to all my readers. I do comment back — and I do value comments. This week I have been really busy and thought I had responded when I hadn’t! The trouble is I am having the conversations in Twitter, Second Life, Forums and on other peoples blogs so often are commenting back and so it is easy to think you have…. mmm I will need to work harder for my tick! Tips, for what works for you, most welcome!
- Encourage people to subscribe to your blog – obviously conversations are not going to happen if people aren’t reading your blog….I do try to make my readers aware of how to subscribe to my blog but it is not easy. If you are reading this blog and not using a Feed Reader — you really need to because it will save you time! Here is my information on how to set up Google Reader so that you can manage reading blogs.
- Keep writing! It takes time to build up readers....doesn’t happen overnight. But conversations are not going to happen if you don’t write post.
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